|Date||Tuesday 29th September 2015|
|Match||Arlesey v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||Ingrey, Mason, Watters|
Yates, May, Scott-Morriss (Brathwaite), Bradshaw, McDevitt, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart, Towner (Watters), Hoenes, Mason (Castiglione).
Subs not used – Powell, Tewkesbury.
Royston Town extended their league winning run to six games with a muddled but effective away mid-week win against Arlesey Town whom have had an underwhelming start to their season, but seem to be finding some recent form. In a game that saw three penalties of which the Crows scored two and big Ron Yates saved the home side’s spot kick, open play chances were many, but opportunities were not taken as often as Steve Castle would have liked.
The first twenty minutes of the match were mainly the rampant Crows pressing well and early chances fell to Rob Mason, Scott Bridges and Ryan Ingrey and accuracy was seen wanting, but Ingrey did force a good save from ex-Royston stopper Nick Thompson on 16 minutes.
The home side were equally pumped up for this game and got a foothold twenty minutes in and started to fashion some forward forays that had Liam McDevitt and Jack Bradshaw working hard and effectively to cope. As the game pattern swung slightly the Crows looked to have squandered early dominance and under pressure left back Gus Scott-Morriss mistimed a clumsy challenge, collected a yellow card, and Arlesey were awarded a penalty on 32 minutes and a chance to take the lead in this close game. I have watched Royston keeper Ron Yates face a number of penalties, particularly in the latter part of last season, and had never seen him save one. At this important juncture of this game the big man threw himself low right and palmed away a not particularly well struck, but goal-bound, effort to keep the score goal-less and to play a vital role in the final score of this match.
The Crows resumed their better play and forced their hosts back winning various corners and free-kicks as Arlesey tried to hang on until half-time. The home side efforts were in vain as Royston produced some good link up football in the final five minutes of the half that culminated in a sweeping move that saw Rhys Hoenes make a lateral run laying off to the zig-zagging Ingrey, Mason provided the one-two wall and Ingrey bypassed defenders and curled a well-placed shot into the far side of the goal in the 46th minute. 0-1.
Second half and the Crows came out much stronger – Gus Scott-Morriss was replaced by Dan Brathwaite – and the Two Blues found themselves under increased stress and strain that they struggled to cope with and the lively Hoenes once again proved too hot to handle as he broke through down the right hand side to the dead ball line and cut in on the parallel and was crudely scythed down for a penalty kick. Mason stepped up and uncharacteristically chose accurate guile, not bullish power, and doubled the visitor’s lead. 0-2.
Further open play chances were created by the Royston pass and move play but again the final shots were missed, blocked or dealt with. Chris Watters came on for Ryan Towner on 53 minutes.
Yates was called upon to make another good solid and aware save on the hour as Arlesey, to their credit refused to lay down and Dave Deeney for the home side should have done better as he put a good goal-scoring chance wide. In a nice to watch move Brathwaite supplied a dangerous cross and Ingrey equally should have connected better with a glancing header. Rob Mason left the field to be replaced by Josh Castiglione on 67 minutes. Two minutes later, the Two Blues got their reward for their stubborn resilience and Jack Vasey struck home to half the overall deficit. 1-2.
This position only lasted for 5 minutes as the indefatigable Hoenes broke through centrally and was clattered by the out-coming Thompson for an undisputed spot kick and the keeper collected a straight red card for this challenge. Substitute Watters resumed penalty duty and shot home calmly past the stand in stopper.
Quality dipped across the pitch as the final minutes were played out and the Crows made the relatively short journey home with recently rare maximum midweek away points safely tucked in their kit bags.